This blog is a continuation of Lessons from bboy Menno – part 1. If you haven’t checked the first part yet then you can find it right here.
The Hypnotizing Towel Concept
The motive of this concept was to make the attendees play with level-changes in breakin. Menno held a towel in his hand and he had asked us to pay careful attention to the towel. He asked a person to step up and he requested to change levels based on how he moves the towel. Menno said “there are three levels, which are top-level (the standing position), mid-level (the footwork position) and the ground level (lying down on the floor)”. Menno explained the rules of this concept which was quite simple.
If Menno held the towel above his head then you are supposed to be in the top-level. If Menno held the towel near his hip or the knees then you are supposed to be in the mid level position or take the footwork position. If Menno’s towel touched the ground then you are supposed to be at the ground level lying on the floor. Based on these rules, he quickly started moving the towel and the spectators started changing levels.
Menno asked us to observe the towel and keep toprocking as we switched levels. The towel went from Menno’s head to ground, ground to hip, hip to ground again, then a quick switch back to head and so on and so forth. He was quick to move the towel and we simply did not have much time to think. I had to go all out without thinking how I moved as I was busy focusing over the way Menno kept switching the towel. I felt as if my bboy movements became formless as I was hypnotized by the towel.
The Boxing Concept
The boxing concept was probably the easiest of all the concepts that Menno had taught. All you had to do was just imagine the floor as your opponent and start throwing punches or kicks as you dance. By throwing punches, Menno did not mean to actually punch the floor. He simply advised us to imitate and integrate the punching or kicking movements with breaking movements. He said “adding level changes as you make kicking and punching movements will make you look more dynamic and unique”. Don’t forget to have an angry face.
The Surprise Concept
Menno loves the element of surprise. He said being unpredictable with bboy movements can be an amazing thing to watch. As he proceeded explaining this concept, Menno asked us to imagine a simple scenario. He said “Imagine as if you are now walking through a dense forest and a group of monkeys showed up over the trees but had their presence concealed. These monkeys start attacking you by throwing bananas and you are completely clueless about the ones who are behind this exasperating act.
How would you react? How would you cover your body and move your arms to save yourself from the next banana attack? What expression will you put up over your face? Contemplate over the scenario and try involving those surprised movements and reactions in your dance. Do not limit yourself to only banana attacks. Of course you’re free to think of surprise movements based on other situations as well. Imagination is a superpower.
The Switch Concept
The switch concept is an advanced concept that might be easy to understand but extremely hard to execute. The motive of this concept was to teach the attendees to control the speed of their movements. Menno said that he has noticed many breakers never really try to experiment or play with the speed of their movements. Many breakers have a common trait to maintain a uniform speed rate while executing sets or patches. So, Menno asked us to stay conscious and alter the speed of our movements from fast to slow and vice versa.
Thank You Menno for sharing your knowledge.
Source – Giphy